Gun carrying Iowans say they’ve seen the horrific events from places like Newtown, Connecticut, but have different viewpoints than the president on how to stop them from happening in the future.
“When I see a massacre of children in a school, it hits home with me,” said Des Moines resident, Jeff Burkett.
“Evil people are going to do evil things. They’re going to find a way to do them,” said Steve Cornwell, a gun owner.
Hundreds of Iowans gathered on the steps of the state capital for a second amendment rally Saturday.
They say they’re concerned that stricter gun laws which could ban assault rifles and high capacity magazines violate their second amendment rights.
“When guns are taken away, the criminals are still able to get a hold of them,” said Burkett.
District 35 Representative Ako Abdul-Samad has seen first-hand what guns can do when in the wrong hands.
“My son was a victim of a shooting that cost him his life,” said Abdul-Samad.
Abdul-Samad is a supporter of stricter gun laws and plans to support legislation in the 2013 session for more thorough background checks.
“What happens when a person has a record of mental illness? How do we keep that person from obtaining a weapon,” questions Abdul-Samad.
Like President Obama, Abdul-Samad questions the need for assault weapons.
However, he says gun control isn’t about taking guns away from responsible Americans.
“We can’t get away from the fact that we’ve had mass shootings. We can’t get away from the fact that we’ve lost children,” Abdul-Samad told Channel 13 News.
Opponents of stricter gun laws like Cornwell say they’re not sure what the best strategy to protect children from gun violence is, but he’s confident that stricter gun laws aren’t the answer.
“Stopping me from owning a gun isn’t going to help that,” said Cornwell.